How Long Does It Take to Move Into a House or Apartment?

By PropertyClub Team
May 31st 2023
If you’ve recently invested in a new place, the anticipation of making it yours can be brutal. You might want the move-in process to happen immediately. The truth is that moving into a new place can take a significant amount of time.

You’ve come to the right place to learn more about move-on time for a new house or apartment. Read on to learn more about how much time to plan for when getting yourself comfortable in your new space. There’s a bit to cover, so let’s begin.

hash-markTime to Move Into a House or Apartment When Buying

When buying a house, it can take anywhere from two weeks to three months before you can move in. When buying, you need to consider several factors before moving in. There’s a lot of paperwork and commitments that need to happen, so don’t transition your stuff out of your space right away. It might be longer than you anticipated.

Although some people purchase homes or apartments with cash, most people take out a mortgage when investing. This addition can add a significant amount of time to the move-in process.

Here is the approximate moving timeline when purchasing a home or an apartment.

  • Wait for the mortgage approval: If you’re taking out a mortgage, you need to wait for the approval to come through. This action usually takes somewhere between 2-4 weeks.
  • Pause for the transfer of ownership: You will also need to wait for the transfer of ownership from the previous occupant to you. This can take about 6-10 weeks.

If you’re lucky, you can move into a place in as little as two weeks. On the longer end, it can take about two months for everything to finalize. So about six to ten weeks is the timeline most say to anticipate.

Sometimes, things can hold up this process and make it last even longer. For example, you might need to provide more paperwork to get your mortgage approved. The transfer of ownership can run into difficulties and take longer than expected.

Once the mortgage is approved and the transfer of ownership comes through, the home or apartment is ready for you to move in. You can hire a moving team and find yourself inside in as little as two hours.

The closing date can change at any given moment on your contract. Ensure you stay in contact with the realtor and have a place to live until the time comes for the house to be yours.

hash-markTime to Move Into a House or Apartment When Renting

Renting is a little different. There is no transfer of ownership and no mortgage to take out, so you can typically move into a new apartment within a few days of signing a lease, assuming it’s already vacant. Of course, there is paperwork involved, but it’s nowhere as extensive as the legal documents that come with purchasing a house or apartment. Still, ensure you have a place to live until you’re approved to rent and the previous owner moves out.

Most advise you to look for a rental property at least thirty days from when you want to move in. This timeline gives you ample room to locate a suitable apartment and prepare if any delays occur. However, there are a few things that can impact the timeline.

Here are the things that need to happen before you can move into a rental and the approximate timeline that comes with them:

  • Rental application approval: You need to wait for the rental application to be approved. The landlord must complete a background check and contact any references they need to feel comfortable letting you in, usually no more than a week.
  • The exit of the current renter: You need to wait for the person currently occupying the space to leave and move somewhere else, usually no more than a few days.

These are the two most critical steps that need to happen before moving in. If you’re living in another apartment, you also need to work on terminating your current lease before you move into this new space.

If a rental is empty, the move-in process will be much faster than if there is a person currently occupying the space. If someone is in there, you will need to wait for them to exit. Still, it takes less time to move into a rental than a purchased place.

hash-markOther Factors That Influence How Long It Might Take to Move

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. If you’re looking to move, you might find yourself dealing with outside forces that shift the time it takes for you to complete the moving process.

A few of these factors have to deal with the paperwork and technical aspects of the moving process, while other delays come from things you have no control over. Let’s talk about both varieties to prepare for anything that might happen.

Some of the other factors that might influence how long it takes for you to move in include:

  • Paperwork delays: As mentioned above, there are instances where paperwork can cause a delay. Someone might need further proof or even lose paperwork altogether. This action can push back the move-in day.
  • Date mix-ups: We’re all human, and the previous owner could forget about the closing date. If so, you will need to deal with a slight delay in your move-in process.
  • Bad weather: Poor natural elements can make it impossible to move. If there’s something extreme like a snowstorm or a hurricane, you will have to wait to occupy your new space.
  • Busy movers: Most people hire movers to help them move from one place to another. If you’re moving in a time of year when everyone is changing up their lives, you might find that all the moving companies are busy.

If any of these items find their way into your moving process, you might need to wait to move your stuff into the rented or purchased home.

hash-markHow Long Does it Take to Move Bottom Line

While it might only take a few days to move into an apartment when renting, it might be months before you can move into a house when buying. It all depends on the specific circumstances and how smoothly everything goes. That's why it's important to ensure you always have a place to move into temporarily if there happens to be a mix-up with the move-in process. If there’s a delay, you don’t want to find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. You can also stay in a hotel for a little while you wait for the moment you can occupy your exciting new living space.